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Authoritative powers for criminal justice discretion

- What role does a civilian oversight committee have in ensuring authoritative powers are not abused as it applies to acts of discretion?

- Provide a critique of the values and ramifications of such an oversight committee.

- Include an assessment of the various factors effecting attitudes of criminal justice personnel towards the public that would affect use of discretion.

Solution Preview

The ability for police officers, juvenile judges, and some adult courts to issue discretion regarding placing individuals into the criminal justice system is wide and varies regarding what city, state, or local jurisdiction that is involved. Police officers have broad discretion and most importantly because they are the first criminal justice professional that individuals accused or suspected of crimes encounter, their discretion sets the bar for whether the person will interact with other criminal justice officials.

After a police officer decides to implement someone into the system by arresting them; the next factor that would be important is the type of court and age of the offender. Judges in juvenile courts have more discretion than adult courts because of the rehabilitative model of juvenile justice. Adult courts have discretion on some crimes, but many crimes have mandatory sentences that cannot be circumvented.

- What role does a civilian ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides an explanation of the challenges facing the use of discretion by judges, police, and other criminal justice professionals within the criminal justice system. Suggestions are made on how a oversight committee could impact the current disproportionate use of discretionary powers to improve the fairness and equality of the criminal justice system.

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